Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Property Management Minutes

Thoughts and Observations on Marketing, Leasing, Maintenance and Property Management Operations

Three Keys to Unlock The Marketing Plan

Three Keys to Unlock The Marketing Plan
There are three keys to unlock the monthly marketing plan. We need to evaluate and analyze our occupancy. Between the homes that are currently vacant.  Adding the exposure for upcoming renewals.  Then consider the apartments that are on notice;.  We can then determine whether or not we have a sufficient number of interested prospects for these homes. We can then determine what actions will increase or finalize lease offers to maintain and improve occupancy.  Some ideas could include: Open house events Inviting preferred employers, Reviewing guest cards for previous prospects. Product. As we consider apartments that are coming available, we need to evaluate our product. Its important to maintain an appropriate inventory of ready apartments.  Seasonal focal points and accessories in the furnished model will create a fresh appearance.  Several times a year, there are published notes about the the color of the year.  Incorporating this into your model home can always create a talking point. Resident Referral Offer A reminder to current residents that we would love to compensate them for referring friends, families and other acquaintances our way.  If you consider the impact of employers, churches, medical providers and other services our residents contact daily; the impact of general referrals is huge. Preferred Employer Honoring a Preferred Employer Discount creates a local connection to area businesses and employers.  HR and Relocation Services will include information in the Onboarding to inform employees new to the area about possible discounts. Second Key Resident Retention We cannot undervalue the impact of our......
Continue reading
291 Hits
0 Comments

Celebrate Team Recognition

Celebrate Team Recognition
Celebrate Team Recognition, and individual recognition is essential to employee retention. Team meetings are a great opportunity to celebrate team recognition.  We can make it more memorable by building the meeting around a theme. A fun theme to kick off the New Year is “The Team Toast.”  With the New Year’s Celebration fresh in our thoughts, having a theme with party hats and champagne flutes can make the first meeting of the year memorable. A toast, as used at weddings and celebrations is a public gesture of celebration.  Using toasts, we can celebrate the team accomplishments. This creates an opportunity for the team to experience recognition for their efforts. Celebration Meeting Theme With a “Toast” theme,  the team can be challenged to toast (not roast) their colleagues.  It can be an opportunity to recognize previous year accomplishments. Total Number of Move Ins Improved Safety Inspections Increased Occupancy Improved Rent Collections Inspection Scores Satisfaction Scores on Service Orders Sample toasts, giving suggestions can be helpful.  Cue cards can be prepared in advance.  Setting up cards with fill in the blank options.  This provides an opportunity for everyone to participate without experiencing frustration or embarrassment.  Offering advance preparation can make sure recognition is offered for all. The menu for the meeting includes juice or sparkling water served in plastic champagne style flutes; the entrée for the breakfast menu, french toast.  Of course! Meeting With Purpose The team meeting communicates the schedule for the week. Scheduled move ins, move outs, preventive maintenance, represent important items for every member of ......
Continue reading
606 Hits
0 Comments

Things I Learned and Loved in 2021

2021 inscription on sand near the seaSome things that I learned and loved in 2021.    Excited for the new adventures coming our way, but here are some of my favorites from 2021.  But there has been much gained  with lessons learned, experiences and a ideas that fall short that either need a little more development, or maybe an idea for someone else to chase. Podcasts If I’m driving, flying, walking …I probably have a podcast in my ears.  There are influencers for the Property Management Industry, Marketing and Personal Growth Skills.  Some of my favorites are Michael Hyatt’s Lead to Win, and Focus on This …that ties into the Full Focus Planner, another Hyatt product.  Jon Acuff, as well as being an outstanding author is the host to “All It Takes Is A Goal.” Canva Love this tool, both the free and pro versions for social media ads and flyers.  Easy to use, although the premium features are somewhat crowding out the free options.  We live in a visual, world.  A little investment of time can bring big returns with the attention that graphics or animations will attract. Facebook Marketplace The latest and the greatest….the algorithms will probably find ways to complicate this process, but Facebook Marketing has proven to be an effective source of apartment advertising. We have found that some of our staffing positions that didn’t get much response from commercial recruiting efforts can achieve local interest with a Facebook Marketplace Employment Ad.  Auto generated responses are available for both for the “seller” and the “buyer” but ......
Continue reading
572 Hits
0 Comments

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas to All!

Wishing good heath, happiness and family time to all of the members of the Property Management Industry.

I always have a certain level of anxiousness approaching long, or extended holiday weekends.

With a career that started and survived many midwest winters, it seemed that the first storms selected Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years for their arrival.  Not only taking our teams away from the family time, but also putting them in the worst elements fighting snow and wind, and whatever.

So fingers crossed that the next few days will present “the Calm and Silent” Days and Nights so our teams are not deluged with on-call emergencies.

Merry Christmas to All
Merry Christmas

 

Continue reading
478 Hits
0 Comments

Increase Interest In Your Community

Apartment greetingAs we slide into the last few weeks of the year, it is important that we increase interest in our apartment communities.  We create our own reality, that “no one’ is looking for an apartment right now.  Which may, or may not be true…Sometimes things happen beyond an individuals control, and like or not…there are people who will be looking for apartments in December. For properties located in the East and Midwest, there’s a mindset, that NO ONE wants to move in the winter.  Again, the weather conditions in different parts of the country can make moving a challenge. 12 inches of snow in Michigan, Wisconsin or Minnesota: which can be the scenery from November through April.  The south can have months of blistering hot where no one wants to venture a toe outside much less the hours of physical labor to move a household. But unless we’re able to magically limit all of our lease expirations to the most ideal weather situations (which is of course, all dictated by personal opinion.)  If we have vacant apartment homes we have to figure out a resource to increase interest and bring attention to the community so apartments can be leased. Virtual Tours. The pandemic has forced most industries to create a process to work remotely.  Whether someone either doesn’t want or isn’t able to travel to your community, location is no longer a barrier to providing a tour of your apartment homes, your community or your amenities.  Experiences of remote purchasing are becoming more......
Continue reading
867 Hits
0 Comments

Every Job Description Includes Marketing

Every Job Description Includes Marketing
An important criteria in the hiring process for any apartment community is emphasizing how each and every member of the team is involved in marketing for the community.  Every job description includes marketing and customer service responsibilities. Marketing is not a department, states Jason Fried in his book Rework.  It’s described in a post by Vincent Huberta, ”Marketing is something everyone in your company is doing 24/7/365.“ An important criteria for maintenance interview is the responsibility of customer service.  This new team member will represent the community.  Maintenance, housekeeping and the landscaping crew are our ambassadors.  They are the daily exposure of the apartment community and the management company.  In fact, maintenance has the opportunity for a higher volume of contact with our residents than the leasing team.. Allowing technical skills to drive a hiring decision when the personality, and customer service attitude isn’t there, can become a detriment in the long run.  In fact, we can teach and train skills, but you can’t teach friendly.  Technical skills are great but the failure to include a smile and a friendly greeting will have a stronger impact than a delay in waiting for service. Appearance The importance of personal appearance is also part of the package.  Clean uniforms, clean shoes or shoe covers when entering a home indicate respect for the residents home. During weekly team meetings review feedback on resident comments.  These could be collected during servica call backs or move in/service request comment cards.   Sharing the responses will add to the under......
Continue reading
1186 Hits
0 Comments

Add A Newsletter To The Communication Toolbox

Add A Newsletter To The Communication Toolbox
We communicate with our residents through a number of platforms.  Add a newsletter to your communication toolbox, this is an underestimated, easily accessible resource.  A community newsletter is a great way to communicate with your residents. However, in the busy life for a management team, the idea of a newsletter is yet another task in the unpredictable days that never seem to allow the time necessary for a task that doesn’t rate as urgent or important. Underestimating the value of a community newsletter could actually cause your team to waste time.  And time is the one resource that’s limited and irreplaceable. On a regular basis there are announcements that we need to communicate to our residents. Pest control schedule. Social event reminders Maintenance Schedules and Reminders While it seems there isn’t justifiable time to dedicate to a newsletter.   It actually saves time.  We can eliminate multiple individual notices that we have to publish or distribute, during the course of each week. The newsletter can be a single point of all announcements. Here are some tips that make a newsletter an effective communication tool First.  Keep it Simple. We overthink most ideas. We believe a newsletter must be six or eight pages filled with recipes, photostock and advertisements.  Start out, with a simple Word document.  We’re providing one or two announcements.  That’s it. Graphics are nice but not required.  Punctuation and grammar checks are a must.  Review the upcoming schedule for the community, what items need to be communicated to your residents?......
Continue reading
944 Hits
0 Comments

Networking With Gratitude

Networking With Gratitude
Amazing how a networking event creates gratitude.  A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a networking event with several of the colleagues that have influenced my career.  It encouraged me to take stock of the opportunity to meet, work with and the experiences this industry has provided. Thirty years ago, I was working for the local police department, a Police Service Officer, but the position had been funded with a special grant and the funding expired.  One of the police officers in my section mentioned the apartment community where he lived, was hiring.  Using him as a reference I applied for a part time leasing position for a senior property with Section 8 assistance.  A few weeks later, I joined the property management industry.  Part time, became full time, leasing became managing, managing a single property location grew to a multi site responsibility.  Then the promotion to oversee a portfolio of properties.  Property Management has been my passion for thirty years. My exploration into blog posting with Property Management Minutes is an effort to give back to an industry that has given me much.  People describe the challenge of property management, “something different every day.”  I love the challenge with the variety of disciplines; Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Business Management, Supervision, Training, Maintenance, Renovating; the list goes on.  I love it! My first experiences were properties owned and managed by Oxford Management.  I had the privilege’s of working with industry greats, Alex Jackiw, Howard Campbell, Sherre Helmer.  Many of my......
Continue reading
795 Hits
0 Comments

Increase Resident Referrals

Increase Resident Referrals
Referrals continue as the most popular source of prospects to our community.  So, it only makes sense that we focus to increase resident referrals. We monitor the reviews and encourage satisfied customers to share their experience.  Even with a growing range of virtual experiences,  the leading influencer in both sending visitors to the community, but also visitors that make the decision to lease is the resident referral. Why are these people talking about your community? In some cases, it is our current residents.  They are referring friends and families in response to the offer of a resident referral.  An opportunity for some cash in their pocket or a discount on rent.  As well as the opportunity to have friends, coworkers and family as neighbors. Another source of referrals are the satisfied former residents.  It’s always a pleasure and a true sign of satisfaction when residents returns to your community. Social media makes it easy for an individual that has moved to another city to keep in touch with former colleagues or friends.  It only takes a second for someone to ask, “Did you like the apartment community you were living at before you moved?”  Social media is a great tool to maintain a steady stream of communication.  This allows former residents  the opportunity to easily direct referrals in the future. How To Keep In Touch Ask departing residents if their email will remain the same.  Possibly confirm a forwarding address, this will allow you to keep in touch.  It also provides the information to start a special email distribution list.......
Continue reading
1177 Hits
0 Comments

Update Team Meeting Agenda With Recaps

Update Team Meeting Agenda With Recaps
Update  Team Meeting Agenda with Recaps at the beginning and end of each day.  We can improve efficiency and effectiveness. The value of the team meeting is unquestionable. But the weekly team meeting is not the only occasion that we communicate with our team. Communicating Changes in the Daily Recap The team meeting agenda with the tentative work schedule that we communicated at the beginning of the week is not cast in stone. There will continue to be changes move in dates change new move out notices emergency service requests new lease move in dates Updates in the Daily Recaps Communication with our team needs to continue on a daily basis.  Unstructured communication, comments on the fly, are quickly forgotten and may not get to the person assigned to that task.  A text that there’s a change can easily be overlooked.  Lack of communication about changes can easily result in frustration.  We must be intentional, thorough and detailed with the communication. Today’s agenda Update team meeting agenda with recaps at the beginning and end of each day will insure that all members of the team stayed informed.  This, also reinforces one point where the team should look for updates and changes their leader, the manager. The kickoff and close out meeting allows every team member to update the status of their individual projects and assignments.  There is value to recapping items at the end of the day, it reinforces the purpose and responsibility for each person to report the next day.  It lets them know in advance you’re counting on them to contribute to that is scheduled for the next ......
Continue reading
506 Hits
0 Comments